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A Few Words About A few words about...™ How the West Was Won -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Each year we hope that a meager handful of the finest classic films will arrive via the latest and greatest software system.

For 2008 one of the top two or three will be the Warner Home Video release of one of the few true "Event" films.

How the West Was Won.

Let's go through some names:

In front of the cameras -

The lead actors:

Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Eli Wallach, John Wayne, Richard Widmark

Behind the cameras:

The Directors:

Henry Hathaway, John Ford, George Marshall

The Cinematographers:

William H. Daniels -

Foolish Wives, Greed, Flesh and the Devil, Anna Christie, Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight, Queen Christina, Camille, Brute Force, Naked City

Milton Krasner -

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, Ghost of Frankenstein, Scarlet Street, All About Eve, Three Coins in the Fountain, The Seven Year Itch, King of Kings

Charles Lang, Jr. -

A Farewell to Arms, She Done Him Wrong, Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The Uninvited, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Big Heat, It Should Happen to You, The Long Gray Line, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Some Like it Hot, The Magnificent Seven, Charade

Joseph LaShelle -

The Rains Came, How Green was My Valley, Tobacco Road, Laura, Hangover Square, River of No Return, The Long, Hot Summer, Irma la Douce, The Chase

The Editor:

Harold F. Kress -

Andy Hardy Meets Debutante, Bitter Sweet, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Mrs. Miniver, Random Harvest, The Yearling, Command Decision, I'll Cry Tomorrow, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Merry Andrew, King of Kings, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Cromwell, The Poseidon Adventure

The Composer:

Alfred Newman -

The Kid from Spain, Hallelujah I'm a Bum, I Cover the Waterfront, The House of Rothschild, The Call of the Wild, Dodsworth, Stella Dallas, The Hurricane, Gunga Din, Wuthering Heights, Only Angels Have Wings, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Rains Came, Beau Geste, Drums Along the Mohawk, The Grapes of Wrath, Foreign Correspondent, The Westerner, The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, How Green was My Valley, Heaven Can Wait, Wilson, A
Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Leave Her to Heaven, The Razor's Edge, Gentlemen's Agreement, Captain from Castile, A Letter to Three Wives, Twelve O'Clock High, The Gunfighter, The Robe, The Egyptian, The Seven Year Itch, Anastasia, The Greatest Story Ever Told


You see where this is going. The finest talents in Hollywood were gathered to create this masterpiece of the cinema.

IN CINERAMA!

Aspect ratio - 2.89:1.

Warner Home Video presents HTWWW in Blu-ray in two variants - a "standard" letterboxed version and a "Smilebox" version, a concept created by Cinerama historian David Strohmaier for his documentary, Cinerama Adventure, (also a part of this set). "Smilebox" is a quite successful attempt to recreate the feel of viewing the film on a highly curved screen in Cinerama.

If you can't make it to the Cinerama Dome for the screening on Sunday, the 7th, this is as close as you'll come.

The three negatives (each 50% larger than a standard 35mm frame) were scanned at MPI, Warner's digital facility, with further work done to soften the blend lines of the three panels.

Everything behind the creation of this Blu-ray set has been meticulously prepared and the final result, with lossless audio is, in a single word:

Extraordinary!

There is a dynamism and visceral nature to this release, that I've never noted before, especially in "Smilebox." With almost six times the resolution of a normal 35mm release, HTWWW pushes the limits of Blu-ray to eek out every last drop of resolution.

My hat is off to everyone involved in the creation of this tiny digital masterpiece which beautifully reproduces for the home theater environment, the huge and brilliant undertaking that is How the West Was Won.

Absolutely unique! They just don't come any better.

Extremely Highly Recommended!

RAH
 

RickER

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Mine shipped today! Thanks Mr. Harris, i cant wait to see this. The only other time i have seen this was pan and scan on TV, a few years ago. I couldnt stand seeing the 3 panels panning across the screen. Also i know i was missing 75% of the picture!
So, this will really be the first time i have seen this movie.
 

MatthewA

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They invented Blu-Ray for movies like this.

I've seen it twice in Cinerama, so I can rest assured this is the first time a home video version of the film will even begin to do it justice.

But it still wouldn't beat an actual Cinerama screening.
 

GlennH

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I watched the first segment of HTTWW on Comcast HD on Demand (currently a free selection) the other night. It looked pretty good on there (but I think it was somewhat cropped) so I can only imagine how good the Blu-ray must look. Thanks for the recommendation RAH. This is the kind of film that makes me want to get a big 1080p FP setup.
 

Mike Frezon

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Oh boy.


Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!



Edit: the above image has no connection with the Blu-ray release. Taken from Wikipedia: "Screenshot of HOW THE WEST WAS WON, Image from a recent Eastmancolor test print." Click on the image to see it much better.
 

Rachael B

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That's some sales pitch Robert. Are you sure you never sold me a car? ....or buckboard wagon?

I preordered this when I found out about Smilebox. I gotta see this! I saw the film in Cinerama when I was a kid at the Tennessee Theater which stille exists sans the 70 mm capacity. I cannot recall seeing the film on home video. It'll be alot like a new film for me. My memories of the film are purr-dy hazy.
 

Matt Hough

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After years of suffering through the smeary, wan laserdisc and the nonanamorphic DVD, this Blu-ray just cannot arrive fast enough.
 

Dave H

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I've never seen this film, but will definitely be checking it out! RAH, you got me me excited about this.
 

TonyD

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i ordere both the sd and the lu version, each for less then $20.
my blu-ray shipped today.
this is exciting.
 

Yumbo

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Just washed the 185" last night. Guess this will be a good movie to test out system with. Not sure if I've seen it before.
 

Scooter

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I REALLY want this as well!!!! I remember seeing this at The Trans Lux in NYC as a kid. The scene where the raft is caught in the rapids made me dizzy! When I got back home, I took a piece of cardboard and bent it in thirds. With my little hand cranked 8mm projector, I tried to recreate the look.

This is a buy without question!
 

TonyD

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I ordered from amazon a while ago when they listed it for under $20.
walmart .com did the same thing.
strike that.

I thought you were asking about the sd special set, that was listed at amazon for under 20.

I irdered the Blu version at warner direct site for under $20 after a $30 off coupon.

"Shipped How the West Was Won Blu-Ray with Book
Blu-Ray 1 $18.87 $18.87 Savings $8.08"
 

Richard Gallagher

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I ordered my copy from Best Buy because I had a $50 gift card. It was shipped yesterday (Saturday), so I should have it before long.

I have the soundtrack on CD -- just a superb score by Alfred Newman.
 

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